World War II period Japanese Army NCO's shin gunto sword. The aluminum handle shows service wear with most of the brown paint gone. The fuchi hilt collar bears the mark of the Kokura arsenal as well as a Nagoya inspection stamp and the Gifu Sword Company maker's mark. These NCO swords were actually only produced at the Tokyo or Nagoya arsenals. The positioning of the serial number on the sword blade, so that it is read with the cutting edge up, indicates that this blade was manufactured at the Nagoya arsenal. However, the Kokura Arsenal sometimes put its Arsenal stamp on some fuchi and a sword, such as this one, will bear an inspection mark from either Tokyo or Nagoya Arsenals. The use of the Kokura Arsenal stamp indicates it was produced under their administration. The blade bears a number, as does the scabbard, and these numbers do not match, as is often found with the Type 95 swords. The blade has spots and gray areas but there are no chips or active rust. There are perhaps two or three tiny nicks to the cutting edge that are barely perceptible. The blade is approximately 26 1/2 inches long, with an overall length of approximately 37 inches when within the scabbard. The olive brown paint on the scabbard is almost entirely gone, giving the scabbard the appearance of blued steel. The scabbard has one carrying ring and the owner of the sword placed a leather mount on the scabbard which provided a second, lower, carrying ring, a rather unusual feature to see on a sword of this type. The throat screw is missing. This NCO sword was obviously well carried in the field of combat operations. It shows the indications of wear and use as described above, but at the same time these factors make it obvious that this was a weapon that was constantly at the side of, and handled by, a Japanese Army NCO of the Second World War.
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